D.C. Sniper Lee Boyd Malvo’s Lawyer Argues For New Sentencing Hearing
The lawyer for Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the two men charged in the D.C. sniper case, argued that his client should receive a new sentencing hearing on Thursday, citing a recent Supreme Court decision that doesn’t allow for mandatory life without parole sentencing for minors. Malvo was 17-years-old when he took part in the horrific crimes.
Malvo, who received six consecutive life sentences for his part in the killing of 10 people in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia, is having his case argued in Montgomery County, Maryland. Malvo pleaded guilty to six counts of first degree murder in 2006 in Maryland.
John Allen Muhammad, Malvo’s partner during the attacks, which took place over the course of three weeks in October 2002, was executed in Virginia in 2009. At the time of the attacks, Muhammad was 41-years-old.
In recent years, the Supreme Court has made a series of rulings against extraordinarily long sentences for minors. Malvo’s attorney is arguing that his clients sentence is, in fact, an extraordinarily long one and that in light of the Supreme Court rulings, Malvo should be granted a new hearing.
A Montgomery County prosecutor argued against the new hearing calling the shootings “the worst criminal act ever perpetuated upon our community,” according to The Baltimore Sun.
The prosecution is aided by the fact that Maryland, unlike most states, gives their judges discretion in sentencing people convicted of first-degree murder. Therefore, the recent Supreme court rulings may not apply to cases in Maryland, including Malvo’s.
Even if Malvo was granted a second hearing, it appears there is little chance he would ever be released. In Maryland, the governor has the final ruling over whether or not a person serving a life sentence may be paroled.
“I don’t know politically anybody that’s going to ever take the risk of releasing Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the D.C. snipers, back into the community, even 20, 40, 50 years from now, in light of what he did,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said during a press conference after the one-hour court proceedings Thursday. “In reality, this may be a distinction without a difference.”
Malvo and Muhammad terrorized the Washington Beltway area in 2002, shooting people at random from long distances. For those three weeks in October, the entire area took precautions, trying to stay indoors and out of public places.
In Virginia, where Malvo faces similar charges to the ones he faces in Maryland, a federal judge has ruled that the 32-year-old will receive a new sentencing hearing. A Virginia general attorney has appealed the decision.